Puerto Aventuras in Mexico – Riviera Maya, Xcaret & Cenotes

We took a family vacation with our 1 year old son to Mexico. We stayed in Puerto Aventuras, a town on the Riviera Maya just south of Cancun, on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.

We went together with Betsy’s parents and brother.

Hotel: Barcelo Maya Grand Resort

This hotel is located in Puerto Aventuras, about 2 hours south of Cancun, Mexico. We chose this hotel because it was all-inclusive and on the beach. Having a 1 year-old that wasn’t sleeping through the night yet, we knew we weren’t going to do a ton of traveling around. So we wanted something where all of our meals were taken care of and we could have fun on the beach without having to go too far.

The resort also had a lot of pools, including a kids pool with waterslides that were fun.

Xcaret Adventure Park

Just a little bit away in Playa del Carmen is Xcaret. It’s sort of a mixture of nature reserve, zoo, beach resort, and adventure theme park. There, we went on river rides, snorkeling, and chilled on the beach. It’s not really something of a baby, so our son Emerson was left with the grandparents while we went for the day.

Cenotes: Chikin Ha & Azul

The Yucatan Peninsula is know for its cenotes – underwater caves that often have small ponds that come out to the surface. The water is typically very clear with some beautiful rock formations.

These cenotes are everywhere, and there were some right across the street from our resort. We went to Cenote Chikin Ha and Cenote Azul to go snorkeling and cliff jumping!

Travel Lessons

  • On long flights with young kids, take whatever you need to keep them entertained. As miserable as it is for you, it’s even worse for them. We downloaded tons of kids shows from Netflix onto our iPad, had some of his favorite toys, and had plenty of snacks. Walking up and down the aisle also helps too.
  • Depending on your kids’ age, think through the effort it’ll take to get around, see things and eat. We decided we didn’t want to think about making food or even finding restaurants, so we chose an all-inclusive resort so that the food is already included and available. We also knew we didn’t want to do a ton of moving around with a 1-year-old, so we chose a resort that had plenty of activities there and nearby.
  • Stay clean! Our son Emerson caught “Hand, foot and mouth disease” which is a miserable and painful sickness while in Mexico. He most likely got it from touching a million things and putting his hands in his mouth. Betsy also got it from him, most likely because she shares food with him. So wherever you are, be sure to be sanitary when you can. You can get sick anywhere, but it’s no fun when you’re traveling.
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